I. Purpose and Mission
The Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee is an internal committee within the Division of Student Affairs at Middle Tennessee State University. Composition of the committee is outlined in Section II of these guidelines. The role of the committee is to allocate student activity fee funds to registered student organizations for their programs and activities. The committee administers the allocation process under these established funding policies and procedures, but at the same time the committee strives to insure that the final allocations are fair and represent the diversity of the campus community.
Organizations are responsible for preparing realistic and objective requests which are in compliance with the policies and guidelines established herein. The committee reserves the right to make exceptions to the guidelines if the organization can demonstrate extraordinary circumstances which would justify an exception. Any exception must be well documented.
Distribution of Funds
Every student who has registered for 7 hours or more is required to pay the $20.00 per semester SGA Student Activity Fee.
SGA Student activity funds will be distributed as follows:
Note: The Student Activity Fee Committee will allocate 95% of available funds during the initial award period for each Fall and Spring semester. The remaining funds will be placed into an emergency fund to be allocated at the committee's discretion.
Utilization of Funds
These funds are to be used for the following purposes and are to be spent in accordance with University policies and other restrictions outlined in these guidelines:
A. Student Government Association
1. Programs and Services sponsored by the Student Government Association.
B. Student Programming
1. Funds are allocated for the sole purpose of providing additional programming and are not to be used for the purchase of equipment.
2. The allocation of funds is determined by the Student Program Council.
C. Sports Clubs
1. Funds are to be used to support sports club activities administered by the Department of Campus Recreation.
2. All sports clubs must be registered student organizations in good standing with the University.
3. The allocation of funds is determined by the Sports Club Advisory Board.
D. Distinguished Lectures
1. Funds are to be used for a Distinguished Lectures program developed by a committee of students, faculty and staff.
2. The coordination of this series will be administered by the Office of Student Programming.
E. Student Organizations
1. These funds are available to registered student organizations by application and approved by the Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee.
II. Composition of Committee
The Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee is composed of 10 members; six student members appointed to 2 (two) year, staggered terms and nominated by the SGA President; three staff/faculty members nominated by the Faculty Senate; and one standing member who shall be the Dean of Student Life or his/her designee. The Dean of Student Life or his/her designee serves as the chair and as an ex-officio member of this committee. All members are appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs.
III. Student Organization Allocation Priorities
Funds are to be allocated on a reimbursement basis for approved projects consistent with the following priorities:
1. Established programs that are institutionally supported and recognized. These are generally collaborative programs sponsored by student organizations and University departments designed to benefit the campus community.
2. A program and/or project which is educational in nature and is open and intended to be of service to the entire campus community.
3. Non-educational programs or projects that are available to the entire campus community.
4. Travel for competitions against students and/or teams from other colleges and universities.
5. A comprehensive program and/or project which provides both educational and/or academic experiences designed to benefit the members of the sponsoring organization and/or National/regional conference to benefit the membership of the organization only.
6. Loans for student organization projects.
7. Scholarships as subject to committee guidelines.
1. In addition to the established priorities and before approving the final allocation of funds, the committee should take into consideration the diversity of student organizations represented on campus and work to insure that the distribution of these funds provides the maximum benefit for all students.
2. Requests from organizations who fail to spend their funds as allocated and in the semester allocated, may jeopardize the organization's ability to receive funding the following semester.
IV. General Allocation Guidelines for Groups Receiving Funding
A. All groups receiving student activity fee allocations are subject to the guidelines and procedures defined in Section IV., V., VI., VII., and VIII.
B. Requests for funds will be considered for projects on a semester basis. Funds requested for future semesters may be approved if appropriate justification is provided. Reimbursement will be made only for the semester in which the funds were allocated unless the organization has received prior approval from the chair of the allocation committee.
C. Deadlines for applications will be announced through the Sidelines and other campus media. applications are available in the associate dean of student life office, Keathley University Center, Room 130. applications for fall allocations will be available following attendance at the Student Organization Orientation Session. applications for spring allocations will be available around the middle of October. All applications must be typed and submitted in writing. Twelve copies of the application must be returned along with the original disk.
D. The committee may approve or disapprove, in total or in part, any request for Activity Fee funds.
E. The demonstrated organizational commitment to a project will be a consideration in the approval by the SAFAC. For example, is the organization providing matching funds, in-kind contributions, departmental support, etc.
F. All approvals or denials of applications will be announced in writing as soon after the deadline for applications as is logistically possible.
G. Funds are to be expended only for the purposes outlined in the award letter. Under no circumstances can funds be used for other purposes without prior approval from the chair of the committee. The chair's decision will be consistent with the criteria established in these guidelines.
H. If at anytime an individual or President of an organization making application feels that their request has been denied by the committee for reasons others than failure to meet the guidelines of the committee, the organization may file an appeal following the procedures identified in Section VIII.
I. Individuals or organizations who have submitted false receipts may not be eligible for funding in future semesters and may be subject to disciplinary action. In these instances, the SAFAC will consider the severity of the offense prior to the allocation of funds.
J. An annual report of expenditures shall be submitted to the Chairperson of the Activity Fee Committee at the end of each spring semester. The SAFAC will review the annual reports to determine compliance with these guidelines.
K. Guidelines and priorities cannot be changed without the approval of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
The Committee will use several general criteria in the evaluation of budget requests. They are as follows:
A. The success and effectiveness of the organization in planning and executing past programs. Newly established organizations will not be judged by this criteria.
B. The quality and thoroughness of the written applications. Organizations are responsible for ensuring that the application is completed thoroughly and in its entirety. Organizations must return all disks with their completed application.
C. Only organizations registered through the Office of Student Organizations are eligible to receive funding.
D. Organizations must attend a Student Organization Orientation Session to be considered for funding. Organizations that have formed after these sessions are held will be required to attend an orientation session prior to spring semester allocations.
E. In order to be eligible for funding, organizations must be active members of the SGA House of Representatives. Organizations that accumulate a total of three (3) unexcused absences in one semester will not be eligible for funding in the semester immediately following. For example, an organization which accumulates 3 unexcused absences during the spring semester will not be eligible for funding in the following fall semester.
F. Funds are allocated consistent with the priorities established in these guidelines.
A. Co-sponsored Programs
Co-sponsorship of programs and activities is encouraged, but is not required. Each organization involved will include in its request, information regarding the nature of involvement and amounts of funds to be contributed by others. It must be clear to the committee that more than one organization has requested money for the same event.
B. Academic and Administrative Programs
Those programs and activities of student organizations which would normally be considered under the University's academic and/or administrative budget will not be considered for funding. Organizations whose members receive academic credit for participating in an organizational activity are prohibited from requesting funds for that activity.
C. Political Programs and Activities
Organizations will not be provided funding to support in whole or part the campaign of an individual candidate for political office. Elements of politically oriented programs which are educational in nature will be considered by the committee.
D. Religious Programs and Activities
Elements of religiously oriented programs and activities will be considered by the committee.
Requests for funding of capital equipment will be closely monitored. Requests must be well developed and supported by the following documentation:
1. A strong justification indicating the necessity to purchase the equipment.
2. Complete specification of the item(s) to be purchased.
3. Price quotations by a reasonable amount of vendors.
4. Methods of providing upkeep/maintenance services and supplies consumed in the use of the equipment.
5. Evidence that the equipment will remain stored in a secure, on-campus office or other approved location.
6. A letter from the organization's advisor of record verifying the need for the purchase of the equipment.
7. An annual accounting of equipment will be completed by the Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee or a designee of the committee.
It is recognized that technological and pricing changes may occur between the allocation of funds and the actual purchase date for certain types of equipment. A purchase of upgraded equipment which does not exceed the original funding allocation does not require any further action from the organization. However, a letter of justification and prior approval by the chair of the Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee are required for the purchase of upgraded equipment which exceeds the organization's original allocation.
Costs of employment will not generally be funded. These guidelines recognize the voluntary nature of student organizations in which services are expected to be donated. As an exception, organizations which maintain an office or similar permanent facility may request wages to fulfill a required function of the organization. Requests must be well justified and establish beyond reasonable doubt that the lack of the service would severely affect the operation of the organization.
G. Food and Beverages
Food and beverages, such as that associated with banquets, receptions, and ceremonies, will not generally be funded. Exceptions may be allowed, particularly as follows:
1. Food and beverage consumed by a visiting lecturer, entertainer, or guest of an organization.
2. Food and beverage which may be an essential part of a program, such as that intended to provide cultural orientation.
3. Food and beverage which is an integral element of a program which is institutionally supported and recognized and is a collaborative effort between other student organizations or University departments .
4. The organization must show that the allocation will only serve to supplement the full cost of the food purchased in an effort to provide discounted meals to guests. Under no circumstances will the full cost of a meal be reimbursed.
Under no circumstances will the purchase of alcohol be permitted.
H. Off-Campus Travel
Expenses incurred by students engaged in off campus travel will be limited to reimbursement for registration fees, lodging and transportation. Costs of meals will not be funded. Travel reimbursement is generally limited to student travel. Exceptions may be made with prior approval and justification.
Only those organizations which maintain an office or other similar permanent facility will normally be funded for telephone expenses.
The purchase of alcoholic beverages will not be funded under any circumstances.
K. Philanthropies, Benefits and Charities
The use of activity funds to make contributions to philanthropies, benefits, charities, and similar fund raising events will not be funded.
L. Retreats and Workshops
Retreats and workshops that are institutionally supported and recognized and are generally collaborative programs sponsored by student organizations and University departments designed to benefit the campus community may be considered.
Clothing items will be funded on a case by case basis. If clothing is funded, the following conditions will apply:
1. Limited clothing items may be funded for events and/or activities which are institutionally supported and recognized and represent a collaborative effort between student organizations and University departments.
2. Clothing items may be funded when an organization can demonstrate a programmatic need for such items, but these items must remain with the organization and not become the property of individuals. The organization must demonstrate a method of accountability for these items.
3. The purchase of clothing containing organizational insignias, symbols, and/or name for personal use will not be funded.
N. Fund-Raising Events
Fund raising events will not be funded unless the sponsoring organization(s) can show that it will not benefit financially from the event or program and that the event will benefit the University.
O. Personal Financial Gain
Organizations will not be funded for programs and activities which result in personal financial gain for individual members.
VII. Emergency Funding Requests
A pool of funding may be available for organizations with unforeseen needs related to an existing or new program or activity or due to the unforeseen loss of equipment. In the event of a request for emergency funding, the following conditions will apply:
1. Organizations will not be considered for funding for failure to meet the established deadline for the submission of applications.
2. Requests for the emergency purchase of equipment must be consistent with the criteria established in Section VI. E.
3. Emergency funding requests must be submitted in writing to the chair of the allocation committee for consideration.
VIII. Appeal Process
All appeals must be filed in accordance with the guidelines established by the Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee. Appeals shall be submitted in writing to the Vice-President for Student Affairs within 5 class days of notification of funding. The written appeal must outline the specific funding decision being appealed and the reason for the appeal. Appeals may only be based upon the following criteria:
1. Established policies and procedures were not followed.
2. The funding decision was arbitrary or capricious.
The fact that the Committee did not fund a request at the requested level does not constitute grounds for an appeal.